Ghana’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign is in peril after the four-time champions conceded a late equaliser against Gabon to draw their Group C match 1-1.
Ghana’s captain Andre Ayew blasted home a superb left-foot shot for an 18th-minute lead but Jim Allevinah levelled with two minutes left to rescue a draw for Gabon, who were without captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang due to a minor heart condition.
A feisty encounter ended in scuffles and a red card for Ghana’s Benjamin Tetteh for his part in the post-match brawl.
The draw leaves Ghana with one point from two Group C matches and in danger of elimination if they do not win their last game against Comoros on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Gabon are second in the group on four points and need just a point from their final match against table-toppers Morocco on Tuesday to qualify for the last 16.
Gabon’s Aubameyang left out due to minor heart condition
Aubameyang was left out of Gabon’s team to face Ghana due to a minor heart condition.
The Arsenal striker tested positive for coronavirus on arrival in Cameroon last week but subsequently posted on social media to say he had made a full recovery.
However, Gabon announced that Aubameyang, along with team-mates Mario Lemina and Axel Meye, had all been left out due to “cardiac lesions”.
Arsenal are understood to be satisfied that Aubameyang’s condition is not serious.
They have also been in touch with the 32-year-old, who is feeling okay and has trained for the last two days.
The Gabonese Football Federation said in a statement: “According to the CAF [Confederation of African Footbal] medical commission, the players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Axel Meye and Mario Lemina, barely out of Covid, cannot take part in this match.
“An examination showed cardiac lesions, and CAF did not want to take any risks.”
What’s next for Ghana and Gabon?
Ghana play Comoros in their final group match, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm on Tuesday, while Gabon face Morocco at the same time, live on Sky Sports Football.
The Africa Cup of Nations tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in January and February.
The tournament, originally scheduled to be played in June and July 2021, will be played in Cameroon between January 9 and February 6, 2022, with Sky Sports showing all 52 games live.